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J Clin Microbiol. 2000 Mar;38(3):1042-7.

Identification and population structure of Burkholderia stabilis sp. nov. (formerly Burkholderia cepacia genomovar IV).

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Laboratorium voor Microbiologie, Faculteit Wetenschappen, Universiteit Gent, Ghent, Belgium.


The Burkholderia cepacia complex currently comprises five genomic species, i.e., B. cepacia genomovar I, B. multivorans (formerly known as B. cepacia genomovar II), B. cepacia genomovar III, B. cepacia genomovar IV, and B. vietnamiensis (also known as B. cepacia genomovar V). In the absence of straightforward diagnostic tests for the identification of B. cepacia genomovars I, III, and IV, the last two genomic species were not formally classified as novel Burkholderia species (genomovar I contains the type strain and therefore retains the name B. cepacia). In the present study, we describe differential biochemical tests and a recA gene-based PCR assay for the routine identification of strains currently known as B. cepacia genomovar IV and propose formal classification of this organism as Burkholderia stabilis sp. nov. B. stabilis can indeed be differentiated from all other B. cepacia complex strains by the absence of beta-galactosidase activity, from strains of B. cepacia genomovars I and III and B. vietnamiensis by the inability to oxidize sucrose, and from B. multivorans by the lack of growth at 42 degrees C. In addition, analysis with the recA gene-derived primers BCRG41 (5'-ACCGGCGAGCAGGCGCTT-3') and BCRG42 (5'-ACGCCATCGGGCATGGCA-3') specifically allows the detection of B. stabilis strains in a conventional PCR assay. Examination of a set of 21 B. stabilis strains by means of random amplified polymorphic DNA analysis and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis typing suggested that the genome of this organism is highly conserved, which is in sharp contrast to the generally accepted genomic diversity, variability, and plasticity among B. cepacia strains.

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